All-out war has been declared at Farview Farm between Percy and his gang and myself and battles are staged daily. I am outnumbered and the opposition is sneaky. As in so many cases, it is the innocent bystanders who become the victims. The routine first thing is this: I fill the cereal bowl for the goat of the moment, put down helpings in three places for the mice, and then go around and bring Inga in for breakfast. That used to work. Now the enemy comes in and food for the mice is gone before I can get back. The worst is that the squirrels pick out the good stuff and leave the pellets which nobody likes. Okay, second helpings because I can't bear to see the disappointment on the little faces of the mice as they paw through the leftovers. Since Inga is no longer a milker, she's a quick in-and-out and I go get Sheila. Settling in to the work at hand, I am on constant lookout for an invasion. The squirrels employ guerrilla tactics, sneaking in from the rear, popping up from tunnels under the wall, and raiding on the far side of the room, sometimes one at a time and sometimes all at once. I'm so busy swatting, stomping, and squirting that I can't pay much attention to my job and one of these days there will be a foot in the bucket. The squirrels are smart. I can only squirt to my right (my legs are in the way to the left) and they've learned that if they wait to make a strike on the right-side food pile, I'll be nearly out of milkunition. Sheila is my weapon of choice, she's got better range, but she's a quick milker and it doesn't take long to finish her. Tessie doesn't have the oomph to make a direct hit. With my attention to the right, two or three squirrels are filling their faces on the left. To add insult to injury, they take their booty and lie just on the other side of the wall and I have to listen to them chomping. Yesterday I pulled out a new weapon, a short length of broomstick, which allows me to give a poke down into one of the entrance holes. It's more effective than a stomp on the ground, which they know won't hurt them and doesn't even scare them anymore. I have to be careful though. How could I take an injured squirrel to Animal Rescue and explain how and why I concussed it.
Each side of this battle is determined to win and the fight goes on. I have no idea of the outcome. (Yes, I do, and I fear it won't be me.)